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Mendeley: Cite & Write

A guide on how to use Mendeley to track and organize your research literature and create in-text citation and reference lists

Inserting Citations & Generating Bibliographies

Ensure that you have installed the Citation Plugin. To do so, in Mendeley Desktop, go to Tools > Install MS Word Plugin. The plugin is available for both MS Word for Windows and Mac.

Select the References tab in the Word toolbar. You will see the Mendeley Cite-O-Matic on the ribbon

Depending on your version of Word, you will either see the Mendeley Cite-O-Matic on the ribbon under Add in (Word 2016), or as a separate toolbar (earlier versions). If the tool bar is missing, go to View > Toolbars > Mendeley Toolbar.


  1. To insert citations, place your cursor at the position in your document where you want the citation to go. Click the Insert Citation button to search for citations in your Mendeley Library. You can search by author, title, year or tags you have added. To search for citations from Groups, change from My Library to one of your groups from the drop-down menu. You can also add more citations, edit citations with this button.

  2. To create a list of cited references, place your cursor at the position in your document where you want the reference list to go. Click Insert Bibliography.

  3. To change the citation style, select the style of your choice in the Style drop-down menu.

  4. To save your document without the Mendeley field codes, click on the Export button. Save the new document with a different name.

For additional details on using the Citation Plugin from Mendeley, click here.

Generating citations

This video shows you how to insert citations and generate bibliographies with Mendeley:

1) Installing the Citation Plugin (0:15)
2) Displaying the Mendeley toolbar in Word (0:26)
3) Inserting citations using the toolbar (0:34)
4) Inserting citations from your Mendeley Library (1:00)
5) Searching and inserting citations from Groups (1:24)
6) Creating bibliographies (1:33)
7) Changing between citation styles (1:52)

Note: This video was released by Mendeley in 2011. The interface for Mendeley and/or Word in the video may look different from newer versions in use now.

Citation Styles

Mendeley supports 6979 different citation styles. View the full list here.

However, if you can't find the style that you need, or you need to make minor adjustments or modifications to an existing style, you can use the CSL Editor. Instructions on how to use the CSL editor available here.